Region’s Advances in Sustainability Highlighted at MORPC Summit

    October 16, 2020
    New online dashboard launched, community leaders receive awards

    The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) at The Ohio State University are launching an interactive, online dashboard that provides current and accurate information on Central Ohio’s sustainability accomplishments.

    The Regional Sustainability Dashboard was launched and presented at MORPC’s 2020 Summit on Sustainability, an annual environmental conference focused on exploring and sharing sustainable ideas and solutions. This year, the summit was held in partnership with MORPC’s peer organization, the Atlanta Regional Commission.

    With many community advocates, sustainability professionals, elected officials and residents attending the summit, it provided the perfect opportunity to showcase the newly launched Regional Sustainability Dashboard.

    “The dashboard is a significant, online resource for understanding the progress we are making as a region and where we can improve in our sustainability efforts. This tool will empower our local governments, the media and community members to explore sustainability, and drive changes that improve the lives of our residents and the environment.”
    MORPC Sustainability Officer Brandi Whetstone

    The dashboard serves as the official status report for Central Ohio’s progress toward the Regional Sustainability Agenda, which sets the framework for communities and regional partners to work toward common goals. It was created out of the need for greater access to data and information in order to shed light on the impacts of collective sustainability efforts across the 15-county region.

    “CURA is the hub for data-driven urban science at The Ohio State University. We partner with community stakeholders to support progress on the challenges and opportunities facing cities in Ohio, and beyond. With this project, our community is taking a big step towards building the data resources needed to improve understanding of the paths to sustainability in Central Ohio.”
    Dr. Harvey Miller, CURA Director

    The dashboard can be accessed at rsd.morpc.org. It will be regularly updated as more data and information on the region’s progress becomes available.

    The dashboard project received one of the Regional Sustainability Awards at the summit. The Collaborative Achievement in Sustainability Award recognizes a group of entities or individuals who have shown effectiveness in producing environmental accomplishments through a collaborative effort.

    The Regional Sustainability Dashboard project began in the spring of 2019. The design of the dashboard was created by the Center for Urban and Regional Analysis under the direction of the Sustainability Dashboard Working Group and MORPC.

    Other Regional Sustainability Awards presented include:

    • The Leadership in Sustainability Award, which honors a person exemplifying outstanding leadership and innovation in seeking comprehensive sustainability solutions to address key challenges facing the region. This award was presented to Gilbert Michaud, a faculty member at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.

    Michaud’s work on clean energy, sustainability and economic development projects has enabled him to provide important guidance on the best path forward for solar, wind, electric vehicle and other forms of advanced energy deployment. His energy transition and clean/advanced energy deployment research has been invaluable for nonprofits, the economic development community, electric utilities, local and state governments, and the broader citizenry.

    • The Leadership in Mobility Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding work toward creating a world-class, multi-modal transportation system for Central Ohio. This award was presented to Ted Beidler, recently retired chief mobility engineer at the Franklin County Engineer’s Office.

    As the past chair of the Trail Development Working Group of Central Ohio Greenways, Beidler helped advance the Regional Trail Vision Plan and ensure support of this multi-jurisdictional planning effort. He also was instrumental in developing guidelines for trail design and construction based on local and national best practices.

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